[open-science] [BlueObelisk-discuss] Silicos announces the release of STRIPPER v1.0.4

Peter Murray-Rust pm286 at cam.ac.uk
Wed Mar 16 15:57:31 UTC 2011

On Wed, Mar 16, 2011 at 3:38 PM, Hans De Winter
<hans.dewinter at silicos.com>wrote:

> Hi Peter,
> thanks for the support. Our business model is based on providing
> fee-for-services to biopharmaceutical customers:-
> Excellent - I assumed that and it's good to have it confirmed.

> 1) integrate the open source tools within the customer's own IT and
> scientific environment;
> 2) modify/change these tools if necessary to make these tools meet the
> customer's own requirements and expectations;
> 3) apply these tools on specific customer-specified drug discovery projects
> to help with the identification and optimisation of novel compounds.
> The added-value for Silicos in supporting an open source model results from
> the fact that no license costs are involved for the customer after
> installation of the tools - this lowers the entrance barrier to
> fee-for-services significantly. Second, the global support froma dynamic
> open source community lead by a couple of scientists makes that new features
> can become rapidly tested, debugged, and implemented. Third, feedback
> provided by the customers can easily be integrated in new updates of the
> software, which results in a gradual improvement of the code in the course
> of time and therefore a win/win situation for all parties involved (clients,
> service providers like Silicos, and the open source community).
> I agree with all of these. Of course it has to be proven in the market and
I know that it hasn't always worked in science. It's very successful in IT
(ever since Cygnus) but it was disappointing that the Lion model of selling
public services into companies didn't work out. I have no inside knowledge
why, but there is no reason why the model should not work. Redistributing
information  is hard even with modern tools and issues like security are
even harder.

I believe that all the members of the Blue Obelisk (of course there are no
formal members) welcome the use of their software by commercial companies,
including being sold. It's always useful to know when this happens because
it strengthens our case and gives us additional personal resolve. It's
useful to know that at 0200 when your software is still crashing that there
are people out there who appreciate it and who apprecaite it enough to sell
it and services based on it. It's not freeloading - it's the basis of open
source - but it helps the culture if it's encouraged.

Good software takes a long time and I think a number of BlueO products are
now maturing. (We are putting together some of this at Daresbury next week
for automating compchem).


> Cheers,
> Hans
> --
Peter Murray-Rust
Reader in Molecular Informatics
Unilever Centre, Dep. Of Chemistry
University of Cambridge
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